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japan's prime minister strikes a deal with the opposition and sets a date for an early general election. welcome to "nhk world newsline." japanese leaders have spent weeks debating the possibility of an early election. now they have a date. they'll be going to the polls on sunday, december 16th. the prime minister will do this. they forged an agreement with the main opposition liberal democratic party. >> translator: we've decided to stop the campaign on december 4th and hold the election on the 16th. >> the acting secretary general of the democratic party announced the date after a meeting of senior government and party officials. the lead up to the decision played out on wednesday in the diet. noda debated theshingo leader.
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they said the ldp kept its part of the deal and helped the bills become law. the liberal democrats also agreed to back a bill to issue deficit covering bonds, but the prime minister added another condition. he demanded the ldp support a bill to reduce the number of seats in the lower house. ldp officials later announced they will cooperate with noda and the dpj. official campaigning for the general election starts on december 4th. jap be a niece voteless than two weeks later, on the 16th. nhk world senior political commentator joins us. what prompted the prime minister to act? >> they met all the conditions the prime minister set including helping to pass bills to enact the budget cutting the number of lawmakers and making the
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disparate and representation smaller. there is a big disparate now between densely and sparsely populated constituencies, so eventually he has no excuses left. but it took some time. noda got caught up in his own words. back in august the prime minister needed to convince the opposition to pass bills to reform social security and hike the consumption tax. he promised them that he would dissolve the lower house, in his words, sometime soon. so noda could not hold out forever. >> now that voters could be going to the polls, what will they be considering when they cast their ballots? >> well, some of them look at this election as a referendum on noda's records, i think. his approval rating has hit a new low and his delay in calling an election drove support for
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his democratic party to its low. he angered many japanese by raising the consumption tax. and a large number of people, japanese, are frustrated with the decision to restart the nuclear reactors after what happened at fukushima daiichi. a few years ago the democrats weighed in on a desire for change. they ended half a century of almost unbroken rule by the liberal democrats. they promised to cut government spending on such things as public works projects. they promised to reform the pension system and they vowed not to raise the consumption tax until 2013, but they have essentially broken these promises. >> with such broken promises, the opposition must have gained more support. >> opinion polls suggest that many japanese are already fed up with the ruling democrats.
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they do not support the liberal democrats. supporter's approval rating is about double of the ruling democrats and the the ldp could capture the most seats if not win an outright majority. japanese voters know what they would get after what some people call an experiment with the dpj and some are also concerned a new cultural force, the so called third poll. the mayor and former governor of tokyo have founded new parties to try to alter the dynamic of national politics. they may even join forces. many voters remember that ldp was wasting taxpayers' money. they believe the party was controlled by bureaucrats and business interests and see it as old-fashioned third party. but as i've said, voters have a
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lot of confidence in the democrats already so some may want to take their chances with another election. >> all right. thanks as always. japanese business leaders commented on the prime minister's decision to dissolve the lower house. chairman of japan business association told reporters that noda made a tough decision aimed at resolving various problems to stop the political confusion. he urged that the government should urge measures to ensure the economy is boosted even after the dissolution. >> translator: it's vital to implement the economic measures that noda asked the relevant government offices to compile. >> chairman of the japan chambers of commerce and industry said it's regrettable
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that the move and the ensuing general election will create a political vacuum at a time when the nation's economic situation is severe, but he said he believes that the election is inevitable for the economy to get out of its prolonged stagnation. >> translator: i believe that seeking a public mandate through an election is inevitable for various economic issues. these include the free trade deal under the trans pacific partnership. china's elite officials are finishing up a high stakes game of political chess strategizing and making moves that will ultimately shape the future of the world's most populus nation and second largest economy. hours from now members of the
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communist party will unveil the next generation of leaders that will take control. party officials spent a week long holding their national congress going over issues and policies revising their constitution and taking on new roles. the meeting wrapped up wednesday. analysts say the back room negotiations are still underway to determine who will sit on the communist party's political bureau and its decision-making body, the politibureau standing body. we're there covering all of this. james? >> reporter: people in china and abroad have spent a lot of time speculating about this transition of power, but with just hours to go, few in this country of 1.3 billion know exactly what their leadership will look like when they wake up in the morning. that's being worked out behind closed doors. before those negotiations began communist party members ended
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the meeting they hold every five years. >> reporter: about 2300 delegates gathered in the great hall of the people in beijing. the party's outgoing general secretary tau delivered his closing address. >> translator: all party members should unite under the leadership. >> reporter: the president has managed to carve out a place. they've incorporated a concept he supports into party policy. it's known as the scientific outlook on development and it advocates growth that takes into account social and environmental needs. delegates also voted to pick the roughly 200 members who will sit on the party's central committee. the committee meets thursday to choose china's next generation of leaders.
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vice president shi jing ping is expected to become the primary party leader. >> reporter: really it's just a waiting game here in beijing. everyone is watching to see how the pieces of china's leadership puzzle will fall into place and who will secure a position at the top in the politiburo standing committee. >> reporter: the politiburo standing committee is the communist party's top leadership. right now nine of the party's more than 80 million members are in the politburo. so that means the fate of a country with a population of 1.3 billion is in the hands of a small group of people. here's how the process will unfold. delegates to the national congress will select about 200 members to be on the central committee.
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those individuals then meet the day after the congress closes. they choose china's new leadership, the members of the politburo standing committee. now within that group there is a pecking order. president jenn tau sits at the top of the politburo. he's general secretary of the communist party. he also chairs the central military commission which controls the people's liberation army. other politburo members occupy key posts too, including the premiership. conventionally the congress picks an odd number of politburo numbers but the actual number varies. in 1992 and 1997 the congress chose seven members. in 2002 and 2007 it picked nine. the makeup of the politburo directly affects the balance of power within the communist party.
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that's why intense personnel maneuvers play out ahead of every national congress. analysts will watch for the outcome of that maneuvering. they'll also focus on how many younger leaders will be appointed to key party posts. >> reporter: nhk world's reporter joins us. what kind of reshuffle do you expect in the top leadership? >> well, first of all, the retirement age for members of the congress member party is typically 68 but the president and the vice premiere are in their 50s so they retain their membership. but certain of the current nine members have to retire so it's a major shakeup. they say arrangements are underway to reduce the committee's size to seven to speed up the decision-making process. both xi and li are okccupying te
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spots. >> reporter: who's likely to get a seat? >> well, if the predictions of most analysts are correct, the five new standing committee members will be picked from the lower ranking politburo members. it's highly likically two of the members will get spots. chan has been here since the dismissal of his predecessors. analysts believe chan is closer to the former president. juan is well versed in finance. his wife's father was also a vice premiere. it's safe to say he belongs to the network. six other officials are jockeying for the remaining three seats. they are party chief of shanghai city, liu yunshan, and zhang.
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and also li ewe an chau, lewian dong who is in charge of education and culture and and wang yang. >> reporter: some analysts say it's kiquite difficult to know who's going to lead the party because it's decided in a black box. what do we know about the process? >> there's a heated competition taking place between the present force, the communist league and the other group. children of high ranking communist party officials. they are not a closely knit group, but they have a greater chance of taking a seat in the party and company. a good example of this is the vice president whose father served as vice premiere.
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xi, as we've reported, is widely expected to assume the party's high post of general secretary. the communist youth league is positioned as the party's backup force. it's marked its 19th anniversary this year. membership in the league is a ticket to joining the party elite. members are 14 to 28 years of age. as of the end of 2007 there were 75 million of them. analysts say former senior leaders have strong networks in the party. the president once held the league's top post as his vice premiere who is expected to become china's next premiere. a third group of officials holding influence is made up of party members who have been close to him from the time he was party chief of shanghai. >> reporter: so we know a lot about the forces at stake in china's leadership shuffle, but generally diplomats and experts are all in the dark to some
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extent when it comes to the negotiating, the deal making, and producing the final outcome. >> reporter: another question is how much influence president jenn tau will have over the shi jing ping administration. what is he expect today do as his post of the head of the central military commission? >> well, it is still unclear whether he will stay in the post or step down and seek power from xi. the head of the central commission will control china's armed forces. it's a post regarded as the supreme leader of the country even though the head of the party is the general secretary. there is no retirement age for this post. history suggests they will stay because jobs have been held onto the central commission for two years after he stepped down as general second. they may maintain influence in
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the party, but analysts say he might completely retire from politics. all of those questions will be answered soon. we'll know who gets what position. however, we might not have the full picture of how the back room deals played out. >> reporter: thanks very much. >> reporter: our coverage of china's transition of power continues thursday. the communist party will unveil the country's next generation of leaders. we'll tell you who they are and what it means for the future of the world's second largest economy so stay with us. i'm james tengan in beijing. cradle of culture, economic powerhouse. many enjoy the fruits of prosperity along the path to a new china, but millions are missing out. at a time of growing public discontent, members of the communist party are choosing
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their new leaders. newsline correspondents are reporting from the party's national congress. don't miss our special coverage. "china, the next generation." 8:00 p.m. japan time here on "newsline." the report card on japan's three largest banks ended mixed for the first six months of the year. we have the latest on that. >> james, many japanese companies have released their earnings. they are lowering their earnings from this year. this time it's coming from the megabanks. it's not looking too good. japan's three megabanks reported their earnings, two of the three declined a net profit for the six months through september. that was largely due to weak lending as the domestic economy remained sluggish. the largest japanese banking group by market value mitsubishi u.s.a. financial group posted a net income of about $3.6 billion
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in the april to september period. that's nearly 60% down in yen terms from a year earlier. one of the reasons for the decline was the losses from sale of stock holdings. mizuho financial group reported a 28% decline in net income. it was at $2.3 billion. the group says the decline is due to the drop in the value of stocks held. meanwhile, the financial group had a net income game at $4.1 billion. the good results were due to a contribution to earnings from the complete buyout of a consumer finance firm. toyota motors says it will recall over 1.5 million cars in japan as there are separate defects in the steering wheel and hybrid fuel system. it will be the automaker's largest ever recall in the country. toyota says a design error for a shaft part was found in nine models including prius and wish
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made between august 2000 and last december. the car maker says the steering wheel could malfunction if the driver repeatedly turns it to the maximum. the recall also involved five models of hybrids including alphard hybrid and prius made between may 2001 and last december. toyota says a manufacturing error was found in the electrical system for the water pump to cool the voltage converter. the automaker warnings that the defects could force the car to stop running due to a short circuit. toyota says there has been no accidents stemming from the defect but says it will start replacing the parts for free. u.s. treasury secretary timothy geithner has echoed president obama on the importance of raising taxes for the wealthy and continuing tax cuts for the middle class. that's to avoid the so-called fiscal cliff which is a scenario that an automatic surge in tax cuts and fiscal spending payments may drive the economy into recession. >> let's extend the tax cuts
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removing the potential uncertainty and damage from the fiscal cliff. >> he urged congressional leaders to reach an agreement before tax cuts expire and automatic spending reductions take effect around year end. meanwhile, the republicans continue to oppose tax hikes for the rich but they have expressed a willingness to cut tax cuts and loopholes. they would not secure sufficient revenue but it is important that the opposition is willing to allow some tax increases. now let's get a check on the markets. first the currency. the dollar rose against the yen to one week high level to around 80 yen. that's after the prime minister noted he may dissolve the lower house this week. the dollar yen currently changing hands at 80.06 to 11. the euro is also gaining ground against the yen. it's changing hands at 102.01-04.
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noda's comments led to market players to sell the yen. here is a look at the stock markets in the asian pacific region. stock prices are mostly higher but gains are capped by concerns about the looming fiscal cliff in the u.s. and caution ahead of the official announcement of china's new leaders. and taking a look at the major benchmarks in europe. london's ftse 100 is down by 1%. in paris the cac 40 is down by .30%. that's all now in business news. i'll leave you now with a recap of market figures.
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clear skies in tokyo but rough weather up north. rachel ferguson has more. rachel. >> hi. we've been following a storm moving through western and northern japan. we've been seeing heavy rainfall. we could get another 80 to 100 millimeters of rain in the next 24 hours. some strong winds with that too. gusts of 90 kilometers an hour have been recorded. there was even a tornado in wakaima. we don't see them so frequently in japan, but they're certainly not completely out of the question when we have a storm like this. there's one that came down over water. quite a tight funnel cloud earlier on in the day. so these kinds of conditions are going to persist on into thursday and it should start to clear up a little bit after that. meanwhile, the continent is looking very dry.
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that's also going to change. we have a rain event starting to develop in central china and it will move up to the northeast. further to the south there's more heavy rains, flooding rains moving into vietnam and also cambodia. it's because of a tropical depression here. it's also kicking up some really heavy rain across the philippines and strong rains. you can see upwards of 150 millimeters of additional rain into the next 48 hours. temperatures are shaping up like this on thursday. minus 9. ten, meanwhile, in beijing. a little bit warmer here. 15 in tokyo. we have 24 in hong kong and a hot day in bangkok, 33. all right let's go now across to the americas. very clear day across much of the u.s., mexico, and canada. we've got a system weakening off in the northwest, even out towards the northeast. high pressure is pushing in as that long front moves away. we are still going to see some
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showers continuing here around florida up into the carolinas. you could see some heavier rain with that as well, some thunder and lightening. temperatures are going to be falling across the northeast. you'll notice a big dip in new york, down to 19, 10 in d.c. and 7 in toronto. meanwhile, 1 degree in win be any peg which is warmer than the past couple of days. taking a quick look into europe. things are looking a little bit dryer in the next 24 hours for the british isles. having a steady stream of moisture coming in, heavy rain hitting western norway as well as scotland and northern ireland and ireland. things are going to get a little bit clearer across the british aisles as we head on into thursday. however, still seeing some snow up towards the north of norway and some heavy showers further down towards the south and west. pretty much clear here across much of the continent as well. central locations right towards the east. high pressure is keeping things clear, but we have this system moving now out of algeria coming
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to the central mediterranean. that will be you in southern italy, the southern balkans. the potential for flash flooding, short time heavy rain coming down. let's take a look at temperatures. 10 degrees in stockholm, 6 in warsaw as well as in kiev. paris and london at respective respectively. 21 degrees in rome. here's your extended forecast.
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once again our lead news for this hour, japanese voters have spent weeks listening to their politicians debate the possibility of an early election. now they have a date to mark on their calendars. they'll be going to the polls on sunday, december 16th. prime minister noda will soon dissolve the lower house of the diet. he and his ruling party made the decision after forging an agreement with the main opposition liberal democratic party. we'll be back with more updates in 30 minutes. i'm gene otani in tokyo. from all of us at "nhk world," from all of us at "nhk world," thanks very much for joining us. -- captions by vitac -- tavis: good evening.
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from los angeles, i am tavis smiley. tonight the conversation about the fallout from last tuesday's election with columnist frank rich. rich

WHUT November 14, 2012 7:30am-8:00am EST

News/Business. World events, business news and weather forecasts; broadcast in English. (CC) (Stereo)

TOPIC FREQUENCY China 12, Noda 9, Tokyo 4, Beijing 4, U.s. 3, Newsline 3, Toyota 3, Chan 2, Nhk 2, Europe 2, London 2, Paris 2, Us 2, Treasury 1, Timothy Geithner 1, Toyota Motors 1, The Financial Group 1, Juan 1, Mitsubishi U.s.a. Financial Group 1, Rachel 1
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